Red Dawn - The Sequel

Red Dawn – The Sequel

By Angel Kane

There has been lots of talk lately about how the Russians may have covertly interceded with our elections. Hitting close to home, there is even talk that one of the twitter accounts some thought was run by the TN GOP may have, in fact, been set up by the Russians to lead us astray.

The ultimate result, of course, to eventually put in a puppet regime to bring down our country.

If you are my age you must remember the movie “Red Dawn”.

A cult classic, 80’s movie, where the Russians physically invade our country. Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Charlie Sheen were the leads as teenagers fighting against the invaders. The band of kids take to the hills and lead an armed resistance against the occupying Russian forces. In one pivotal part, the teens come across their parents in a prison camp where their parents await inevitable death and as they say their last good-byes – one father screams out to his boys, “Avenge me, Avenge me!”

I still get chills thinking about it.

That was when Patrick Swayze was at his prime, Jennifer had her old nose and Charlie was not that weird old guy that freaks us out today.

Well my fellow 80’s cult movies aficionados, if you haven’t figured it out yet, Red Dawn – the Sequel – is upon us!

I don’t know if the Russians are truly behind fake news or the Trump train but what I do know is that if they are, they have now taken it up a notch. In fact, 1000 notches!

I present you the Asian lady beetle aka those  $#%# flying ladybugs that are invading my home, your home, every home!

Tens of them, hundreds of them, thousands of them!

If you think the Russians are trying to meddle in our day to day lives, to lead us off course, while they slowly take over, then surely my theory may not be far off base.

Think about it??

At first, we didn’t notice them.

It was just a harmless ladybug.

Then they multiplied. And multiplied. And multiplied. To the point that on any given day when we should be working, taking care of our families, studying up on our electoral college, we are instead chasing these tiny, flying demons.

If you are like me, you are now on a daily quest to annihilate them. But as soon as you suck their little bodies into your vacuum – twenty more appear. Out of thin air!

I’ve googled, I’ve called, I’ve taken to FB.

Only to find out, they are everywhere! And no one knows from whence they came or how to get rid of them.

Those Russians are so smart! First the elections, next those gold medal winning Russian Olympic figure skaters (who were actually banned but somehow got to skate anyway) and now, the ever present Asian lady beetle.

Sometimes, it all seems just too much to bear.

And then I think back to “Red Dawn.”

Those of you lucky enough to have been alive in the 1980’s surely recall that at the end of the movie, Americans takes back their country. To honor the teens who gave their up their lives in the movie, a plaque is inscribed for them as follows,

    In the early days of WWIII, guerrillas – mostly children – placed the names of their lost upon this rock. They fought here alone and gave up their lives, so “That this nation shall not perish from the earth” 

And with those words, as read out to me in the closing credits by Patrick Swayze, I’m once again ready to do battle.


To read more of Angel and Becky’s blogs go to




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No shoes allowed…inside the house!

At my house, we have a shoeless policy.  Everyone takes off their shoes before they come inside.

Prior to having children, this is something that would have never even crossed my mind.  “Sex and the City” (anyone remember “Sex and the City”???) did an episode about Carrie attending a baby shower at a friend’s apartment with such a policy, only to have her Molonano Balanics stolen.  Legal Disclaimer – if you own a pair of Manolo Blahniks, please do not wear them over to my house.  I cannot be held responsible for the safety of your insanely expensive shoes.  Years ago when I watched that episode, I completely related with Carrie.  What lunatic makes you take off your shoes?

Flash forward 2013 when my daughter was born, and that lunatic is now me.  Once your little one becomes mobile, with those sweet little hands on the floor, and subsequently, in their mouth, it makes you think twice about wearing those old gym shoes in the kitchen.  I would never let my kids crawl around on the grocery store floor, for example, so why would I wear shoes in the house that just walked in said grocery store?  I’m by no means a germaphobe.  Kids should eat a little dirt now and then, just not off my hardwood floors!

Sans shoes really wasn’t too difficult to implement.  We just put a shoe rack at the top of our garage steps, easy peasy.  I have a pair of flip-flops handy in case I need to go out in the garage for something.  And who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?  My husband has no problem with taking his shoes off.  He agrees with my logic and appreciates the end result of cleaner floors.

For guests that don’t know the shoe rule, I have prominently displayed an Etsy hand-painted sign that reads “Because little hands touch our floor, please leave your shoes at the door.”  Cute, right?  Apparently not.

After recently moving to our new house, we threw our first party.  I prominently displayed the shoe sign on the front door for those that had never been to my house before.  Guests politely complied, as a pile of shoes lay by the door.  One individual came inside with their shoes on.  I explained that we have a shoes free house but apparently this offended this individual’s dignity and honor.  I might as well have insulted their mama!  I thought I was going to have to forcefully remove their shoes.  The shoes were finally taken off with an audible huff, but it was a weird exchange that I thought was unnecessary.  And for the record, the shoes in question were definitely not Manolo Blahniks!

Am I militant about the shoe thing?  Yes.  But that’s just my personality.  Once I commit to something, I’m all in.  So, you’ve all been warned.  Please leave your shoes and attitude at the door!

Until next time, I’d love to hear what you think about my barefoot brouhaha.  Does anyone out there have a shoe-free home?  Any Carrie’s out there that think being asked to remove your shoes is offensive and borderline OCD?

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Can you hear me now?

By Becky Andrews

I walked into the mouth of the beast on Tuesday. It was as horrible and scary as you can imagine. If it weren’t for the barely breathing battery on my son’s phone, I could have avoided the “incident” altogether.

My conversation with “Trevor” started out well enough. He told me nothing else could be done. It was time to say goodbye. And because this cell phone company is so nice, we could trade in our pitifully outdated phone for a credit.

Becky “But we have insurance. Remember, you talked me into the insurance that covers all our phones? I can file a claim. He’ll get a new phone, and I won’t have to pay all of the ridiculous fees you are about to make light of.”

Trevor “You can do that, but they will replace it with a refurbished phone. Who knows what will happen.”

Becky “What do you mean? Is it going to explode?”

Ignoring my sarcasm, Trevor replied, “Plus, you have a co-pay. Or you could just get a new 8 series for $27 a month.”

Becky “The insurance I pay $33 a month isn’t worth it? Let’s cancel it. That will save $6 a month if I get the new phone.”

Trevor “You DO NOT want to do that.”

Becky “You just said they send refurbished phones. Why keep it?”

Trevor: “I just think it’s not worth the trouble to file a claim.”

Becky “Of course, you don’t think it’s worth the trouble, Trevor. I’m paying for it. Every time I come inside this store, I leave with a new device, promises that my bill won’t increase “that much” and a false feeling of hope. And when I come back to this store with problems on that new phone, I’m told the phone that was great a few months ago should be destroyed for being so electronically inept; my insurance doesn’t cover whatever problem I have and a realization that I’ll never get out from under you people.

Please, I beg of you. Please, help me, Trevor. I don’t want to be here for three hours. I need some good news.”

At this point, Trevor looked confused but determined.

“You did pay $22 per month for his phone. But his phone is paid for now.” He continued, “This new phone is $27 per month.”

This math didn’t mean our bill would increase by only $5. Nope. $27. We were well into hour two. I was confused, tired, and smart enough to know when I’d been beaten.

Trevor came back from the storeroom with my child’s brand new (probably already outdated) phone. He went on to tell me that AMAZINGLY the trade-in credit on his old phone ($97) will EXACTLY cover an accessory bundle.

“He doesn’t need it,” I said firmly.

“You don’t want to leave without a screen protector.” Trevor said as he continued to type “NO WAY, that would be a HUGE mistake. That glass breaks so easy. And the cover will protect the body of the phone. They are both fragile. And the car charger is a must.”

Essentially, I was buying my child a premature kitten that needed round the clock care to survive.

“He only needs the screen protector and case. Thanks anyway, Trevor.”

He looked up from his computer screen and with a laugh said, “So, you want to pay $120 plus tax for those two accessories? Instead of $97 for all three?”

I couldn’t take it anymore! “No, I don’t need any of it! I’m going to take our chances that a big bolt of lightning doesn’t hit his phone between now and the time it takes us to get to TJ MAXX to purchase the same things for $40.”

Without skipping a beat, he delivered more good news.

“Ok, so you have to pay the taxes and upgrade fee on your new phone today. We can’t put this on your bill. That total is $97.”

“Perfect,” I said. “Let’s use the credit from his old phone.” Turns out the credit for our trade-in could only be used on merchandise. I KNOW!

I asked to speak to Trevor’s manager. The manager explained that this was company policy and there’s nothing he could do. Beyond the point frustration, I implied that we may just switch companies. Can you guess how he responded? He gave me the 1-800 number I could call to cancel our plan!!!


But I didn’t do that. I left…without the new phone.

I called customer service where William was reassuring and kind. He told me that he wasn’t ready to give up on us. He planned to have the new phone shipped to my house. Only it was shipped to the store instead. The store where I ended it with Trevor.

He tried to act like he didn’t see me when I walked in. “Hi Trevor, I’m here to pick up our new phone. It shipped here.”

He looked like Glenn Close was standing in front of him saying, “I’m not going to be ignored, Trevor.” Then he said, “I’m going to have to refer you to my manager, I’m off the clock.”

In the end, we stayed with the same company…for now. Also, I apologized to Trevor. Not really, but I meant to.

*His name isn’t Trevor.

Comments? You can email

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The dark side of technology…

By Angel Kane

Like all things, I think there is a fine line between good and evil. And I’m hear to say, that sadly, society may have just crossed it.  We recently had a steam shower installed. When it came time to pick the bells and whistles, the only one I wanted was a physical on & off switch.

I don’t want a remote. I don’t want special lights. I don’t want 12 settings. I don’t want an app for my phone that controls the shower from my driveway. What I want, more than anything is to just turn it on….without having a complete meltdown.

Same goes for my television, my alarm, my bedside lamp and the list now goes on and on. For the love of all things old and easy, I just want to be able to turn things on!

During a recent conversation with our girls, their father made them promise that at least one of them would marry someone technologically savvy. We don’t care for professors, doctors or CEO’s – all we want is for one of them to marry someone who can fix our Wifi when it’s down.

They said technology would make life simpler. They, being the 22 years old now controlling every aspect of my low-tech 47 year old life!

Last year my kids bought me an Alexa for my birthday. I used her all Christmas to play Christmas carols. Basically, Alexa is a high-priced radio, with a snarky, know it all attitude.

They keep telling me, “You know Mom, Alexa, can do more than play music?”

So I hear, but the problem is, I’d have to download the app, connect her to my Wifi, and then spend hours reading Amazon blogs just so I can figure out how to have her tell me the weather forecast for either Tennessee or China.  It took me almost an hour to get her to recognize the words “Alexa On”, so the fact that she can play “Jingle Bells” on command, is all I need her to do.

That and lose her judgmental tone.

And it’s not just the Alexa’s of the world.

My car now has a keyless start button. Problem is when I get home it takes me a half hour to get into the house because I have to search for my keys between my purse, my jacket or somewhere laying on the floorboard of my car.  When my car needed a key to start, then the keys were in my hands when I got to the door. Problem solved.

Every other call I get, is from someone who wants to FaceTime me. Really? You have a need to look at me in order to talk to me? If I’m home, I guarantee you, I’ve got a face mask of some sort on and an old college sweatshirt. And considering I graduated from college more than 25 years ago, neither is a pretty site. So let’s chat the old fashioned way please, by text.

And what happened to regular coffee pots?! Ever try make coffee in a Keurig when you run out of K-cups. You might as well swallow coffee grounds whole. And don’t even get me started about this year’s latest craze, the Instant-Pot. Anytime you can cook an entire frozen roast in less than 20 minutes, then don’t come crying to me when your house explodes.

All that to say, that for 2018, I’m officially giving up on technology.

Instead I vow to go old-school. You know – microwaves, cable television and reading good old-fashioned books…using my phone’s flashlight and my magnifying app.



To read more of Becky and Angel’s blogs go to

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I do it every year. The week leading up to Thanksgiving, I cram.

Every night, I scan Pinterest and cooking blogs and make detailed notes. Food Network becomes my CNN news feed. Tyler Florence, Paula Deen and Ina Garten bring me updates on all things Thanksgiving like Diane Sawyer, Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos keep viewers abreast of all the latest news.

Speaking of breasts, did you know that more than 200 million pounds of turkey breasts are consumed during Thanksgiving? That’s just a sample of what I’ve learned during my cram sessions.

Now onto my planned Thanksgiving feast courtesy of Pinterest and the Food Network or what my husband calls, “The fast, easy way to drive yourself insane before a single relative walks through the door and asks, ‘what’s that smell?'”

They make it look so easy; those television chefs. According to Paula, the success of this holiday is dependent on a single ingredient; “moar reel buuuuttr.” By the end of her Thanksgiving special, I’m saying things like, “Jackson, get yo’ mama the buttr. I think these Fruit Loops will be a mighty bit tastier if we put a big dollop on top.”

I did come away with some very handy cooking tips courtesy of Ms. Deen. One: Real butter does make everything taste better. And two: Just because you exaggerate a southern drawl doesn’t mean you can intelligently explain that a turducken is not a cross hibernation of three birds but rather the main dish for the Andrews’ Thanksgiving feast.

I’ve started preparing my grocery list. For Tyler Florence’s cornbread sausage stuffing, I need 12 spices I’ve never heard of. I’m convinced Ina Garten’s recipe for Pear Clafouti will be a crowd pleaser even though my mother-in-law says, “people won’t eat what they can’t pronounce.” And if my guests don’t particularly care for those, my fried macaroni and cheese is sure to win them over… Or raise their cholesterol 100 points.

I’ve picked up most of the non-perishable grocery items and ordered the bird needed for the Thanksgiving feast.This means I will have a few minutes to rest before the rush of activity begins on Thanksgiving eve. For fun, I decided to try out one of the new recipes while Jacob was home from college last weekend. I summoned the boys to the kitchen to taste a sample of what is sure to be the perfect addition to our Thanksgiving Day dinner; cranberry pudding. Halfway down the stairs Jackson says, “Ugggh! What’s that smell?” Maybe not.

No matter what, I’ll continue to cram for the holiday cooking season. And I’ll always remember that Thanksgiving is not about the food you cook but about the people gathered around your table refusing to eat it. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

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Festive Feast

Sweet and savory smells coming from the kitchen, quality time with family, chilly temperatures outside. Those are just a few of the best things about the holidays. Make mouths water at your next gathering with these tasty recipes from Wildberry Café and Catering.

Lemon and thyme roasted chicken


1 5- to 6-lb. whole chicken

I pack of thyme

4 lemons, halved

2 heads of garlic, peeled and cut in half

1/2 lb. of carrots, peeled and cut

Kosher salt

Black pepper

2 Tbsp. of butter

4 onions, peeled and quartered


Preheat the oven to 425. Remove the chicken giblets, and rinse the chicken and pat dry inside and out. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan or casserole dish, and generously salt the inside with salt and pepper. Stuff two lemons, two portions of garlic, a bunch of thyme and two onions inside the cavity of the chicken. Lay the carrots and remaining onions, lemons and garlic around the chicken. Brush the melted butter on the outside of the chicken, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for about 1 1/2 hours or until the juices run clear.


Roasted brussel sprouts with dried cranberries and balsamic glaze


2 pounds of brussel sprouts

2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt


1 cup of dried cranberries

2 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar


Preheat oven to 425. Trim off ends of brussel sprouts, and any leaves that look discolored. Toss them with the olive oil, salt and pepper and spread onto a baking sheet. Roast for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and drizzle balsamic over the sprouts. Return to the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and toss with cranberries.


Macaroni and cheese with bacon


1 lb. of macaroni

4 cups of whole milk

1/2 stick of butter, melted

2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, grated

2 cup of Colby/Monterey jack cheese, grated

2 cups of mild cheddar cheese

½ block of Velveeta cheese, melted

1 cup of sour cream

8 to 12 pieces of cooked crumbled bacon (depending on how much you want crumbled on top)


Preheat oven to 400. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Salt generously. Drop in the macaroni, and cook for about 8 minutes or until al dente. When macaroni is cooked, drain and put into a bowl to mix in the milk, cheeses (reserving half a cup of sharp cheddar cheese for topping), butter and sour cream. The macaroni should look very creamy — if not creamy add more milk and/or Velveeta. Pour into casserole dish, and top with cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon. Bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and bacon is crisped.


Blackberry Dijon glazed salmon


One whole salmon

Kosher salt, pepper

Blackberries and lemon for garnish

½ jar of blackberry jelly

2 tabs of Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons of olive oil


Preheat oven to 400. Mix the jelly and Dijon together and set aside. Lay salmon on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle salmon with olive oil, and top with salt and pepper. Roast the fish for about 15 minutes or until firm but slightly underdone in the middle. Take out of oven, and brush with the glaze. Return to the oven for about 5 to 7 minutes or until salmon is just about cooked through. Cover with foil and let rest for about 5 minutes. Garnish with blackberries and lemon and serve!

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Major Milestone

Wilson Bank & Trust celebrates 30th anniversary

A lot has changed for Wilson Bank & Trust after three decades. But then other things, like their commitment to their community, customers and employees, have continued to stay strong the years.

The original bank location was in a small, two-bedroom home — where their main office is today at 623 West Main St. in Lebanon — says Randall Clemons, CEO of Wilson Bank & Trust. A group of businessmen decided back in December 1986 to form a bank because the two local banks had sold to large holding company banks, Clemons explains.

“We started the process on Feb. 1 and raised $5 million from 800 local stockholders and opened in 90 days,” he says. “We had a tremendous response in the sale of stock and people purchasing stock that had never owned stock before.”

The bank has continued to grow since then, starting with eight employees the year they opened to now having 475.

“Our employees have made our bank by being servants to our customers and to each community that we serve,” Clemons says. “Our employees believe that we always treat our customers like we want to be treated.”

That mindset has paid off. They now have 27 offices in eight counties, with their newest location being in Metro Nashville. Clemons says they also have plans to open an office in Williamson County and additional offices in the counties they currently serve.

“We have been a community bank in each community that we serve and tried to make the community better as a result of our office being there,” Clemons says. “We have community boards in each community that we serve to help us be sure that we meet the needs of the community.”

The bank has a lot to celebrate, including their 30th anniversary. To show their gratitude for all of the support through the years, the bank is committed to giving $30,000 to the community.

“We believe we have a responsibility to give back to our communities and meet the needs of each,” he says.

They’ve also recognized this important 30-year milestone with family fun days in all of the county’s they serve and a larger-than-normal Oktoberfest. They will also continue the celebration with their Christmas Open House and Christmas parades in the counties where they’re located.

When it comes to the secret to the banks three-decade success, Clemons says it comes down to serving customers and the community — and also having professional employees who are team players.

Community is important to Wilson Bank, Clemons says, and they are proud to be part of the one here.

“Wilson County is a unique place that gave us our beginning, where people have a great volunteer spirit and believe in giving back to the community,” he says. “Our county is made up of special people that have blessed our bank with being loyal customers and that are part of our bank family.”

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Message of Hope

Family’s journey takes them in an unexpected direction


Wesley and Randi Binkley watched their two daughters, Evelyn, 4, and Eleanor, 2, peer at the rabbits and ducks at the Wilson County Fair animal exhibit two years ago when they got the phone call.

The couple loved being parents and wanted to give Evelyn and Eleanor a sibling to round out their happy family. Both had come from families with multiple siblings.

“It was my doctor on the phone,” Randi recalls.

The deflating and life-changing news blurred Randi’s vision and caught her breath. She was just 35 years old.

“He gave me the results of all my lab work and basically told me I would not be able to have another baby because I didn’t have any viable eggs left,” Randi says quietly from her home in Lebanon.

That phone call two years ago came in the midst of Randi and Wesley’s attempt to become pregnant with their third. The disappointing news propelled a quest that led them to a successful option to fulfill their desire to complete their family. They chose an option few understood or discussed.

It’s called embryo adoption. And because of this process, today Wesley and Randi have not one more baby, but two. The babies are not biological to this determined couple and are not biological to each other. This sometimes boggles peoples’ minds, until Randi and Wesley easily explain what embryo adoption is and how it’s completed their family.

“For some reason, infertility is not talked about,” says Randi, a certified nurse anesthetist at Lebanon’s Tennova Hospital. “Woman and men feel somehow ashamed or inept if this issue arises. It’s painful.”

She wants to debunk this, open a conversation and share the option they chose to expand their family when it could not happen the natural way.

While Randi works at Tennova, her husband is in real estate at Remax Exceptional Properties in Mt. Juliet. They celebrated their eighth anniversary in October. They moved to Lebanon three years ago from Davidson County, simply because they love Wilson County. Randi recently transferred to Tennova after nine years at Centennial Hospital in Nashville. Today, Evelyn is 6, Eleanor is 4 — and brother and sister Wynn and Elise are 10 months old.

The couple’s passage to an expanded family is detailed and arduous, but there are several highlights they want to share. They never had trouble conceiving with their two girls, and after about a year, they decided to round the kids out to a trio.

“We really didn’t think much about any problem,” Randi recalls. “But I learned at age 35, fertility drops quite significantly.”

After no success in about two months, they felt a niggling and started to pay more attention. “I knew if it didn’t come quickly for me, something might be wrong,” Randi says.

They were both tested for fertility, and Randi was told she was the “issue.”

“Yes, it was difficult to swallow,” she says. “They said I had premature ovarian failure. Basically, I was menopausal. I was emotional, and I got into that wrong mindset that as a woman you should be able to get pregnant.”

This is when their road to pregnancy began. It was bumpy, scary and eye opening. Randi went through five IUI’s (intrauterine insemination), which is a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization.

The doctor gave them a generous 25 percent success rate for conception with this.  It was the same with IVF (in vetro fertilization), which is an assisted reproduction technology and process of extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample and manually combining them in a lab dish. Then, the embryo is transferred to the uterus. But, Randi was not producing viable eggs anymore.

Another option was an egg donor where a random female donates eggs, usually for money, and they are combined with the husband’s sperm.

“We already had biological children,” Randy said, and they rejected this option.

They thought of traditional adoption, but it’s extremely expensive, up to $50,000. They thought this could have a lot of potential heartache if the mother decided to change her mind.

Randi had a chance encounter with a woman on Facebook from Memphis who had a daughter through embryo adoption. Randi connected with a support group, learned more and then asked her doctor about it. He connected her to Nashville Fertility, which is the largest clinic in the Nashville area. They went to the facility’s embryo adoption program.

Randi and Wesley loved this option that implants a donor’s embryo into her uterus, and if it attaches, she would carry the baby full term. It was a fit for Randi because she loved being pregnant and felt carrying a child would bond her to the baby. There are more than 600,000 embryos preserved in Tennessee. Most come from couples who were successful in IVF and chose to donate their remaining embryos for those who wanted to adopt.

The couple waited five months on a list and then got to the top and were given 10 profiles. Since they already had biological children, they did not concern themselves with trying to find a match that resembled them.

It was suggested they choose two, in case one failed. They choose one genetically tested male embryo that had been frozen five years and one highly successful embryo that was frozen for 15 years. Each embryo came with a general profile of the donors for medical reasons and general information on the donors.

The two embryos were thawed and transferred to Randi’s uterus on May 2, 2016, and four days later Randi was already experiencing nausea, which was a terrific sign.

“I never felt so sick when I was pregnant before,” Randi says with a smile.

The doctor confirmed their pregnancy with two babies, and it was a bit rougher because it was twins and she was older. They say they both secretly hoped both embryos were viable and broke into tears when they realized they had two babies.

Wynn and Elise were early Christmas presents. Born Dec. 6, 2016, six weeks early, they soon flourished. They each came from separate donors.

Ironically, though not biological, they both look like their parents, with Elise taking after Randi’s blue eyed, blonde features and Wynn after Wesley’s darker features. People are astounded when they learn about the embryo implantation. The cost of the adoption was about $7,000 and another $1,000 for special medication.

At 11 months, Wynn is high strung and all boy, and Elise is “chubby with fat cheeks” and loves to smile.

Because of other couples’ generous donations, Randi and Wesley now have two beautiful babies. Also, full circle, because Randi could not produce enough milk to breast feed, she connected with a wonderful group where mothers donate their extra breast milk.

“I know,” Randi whispers. “Other people have given us so much.”

Mom and dad are adapting happily to their new normal with four children. It’s their dream. It’s busy with a lot of give and take and little sleep. But, they say it’s miraculous.

“Embryo adoption is a wonderful option not a lot of people research,” Randi says quietly as she looks at her twins asleep. “I want people to know being infertile is not a failure. It’s life, but there are options. If I had to walk this road again in order to educate people, I would. I’m okay I walked the road and got to the other side.”

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Be The Change

Recently I was in a work meeting, and it seemed everyone in attendance was in a funk. It was not a work-related funk, but a general “life as we know it” funk. The conversation quickly turned from work to politics, natural disasters and of course, Las Vegas.

It seems that everywhere we look these days, evil abounds.

There are populations of people that want to harm us. From nukes that may reach our shores to wayward souls who massacre the innocent among us. Natural disasters are battering homes and our spirits. Tweets and daily political posts that keep us in constant turmoil.

Conversations about how we go about fixing what has gone so wrong often lead to nowhere. Fixing “it” seems almost insurmountable until you realize that the next move is ours to make, and we best get to making it.

I don’t know how to fix politicians or world leaders, nor do I know how to make someone insane become saner. I can’t make floods subside, nor can I bring back innocent lives lost.

But I can….

  1. Be kind to those around me. I can smile at the clerk at Walmart and ask their name. The minute I do, we are no longer strangers. In a world where so many are alone or lonely, I will take a minute to ensure those who pass through my daily world know they are valued.
  2. Be a helper. I can hold a door, pay for a meal, do a favor and expect nothing in return. It astounds me that there are so many among us who may be hungry or do not have a permanent home where they can rest. Let’s help them. Let’s feed them. Let’s bring them some peace. For we all know that helping them, brings us peace as well.
  3. Be thankful. I can thank the good Lord above that somehow I landed right here. We may not have the swankiest of restaurants or big sprawling malls, but we have something better. Fridays are for football, the county fair is still a big deal, you get caught behind a tractor on the highway and your life automatically slows down. It’s not a simple life by any means, but at the same time, it’s not the life many in this world suffer though. We know our neighbors. We watch out for each other. Good abounds.
  4. Be resolute. I can right a wrong. I can speak up. I can speak out. There is a time and place for silence, but now is not the time or place. We can no longer let the politicians or other people fix things for us. It’s time we fix things in our own homes. It’s time we fix things in our own schools. It’s time we fix things in our own small communities. Only then will we be ready to fix the bigger challenges facing us.
  5. Be the change. I can make a difference. Even a small one. I can make it every single day. I may not be saving the entire world, but I’m doing what I can to save my little world.

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A Joint Decision

Lebanon couple praises Tennova Healthcare for outstanding orthopedic care

Bobby and Betty Kirk share life together. The husband and wife enjoy boating, fishing, dancing, traveling and socializing together with their friends at the Lebanon Senior Citizens Center. They also share a history of joint pain. Both suffered from arthritic joints that had worn away cartilage until bone met bone. 

So, it’s no surprise that they both came to the conclusion to have total joint replacement surgery at Tennova Healthcare – Lebanon. In fact, the Kirks had a combined four knee replacement surgeries performed at the hospital within a span of just five months. They also shared the same orthopedic surgeon: Jon Cornelius, M.D. 

According to Dr. Cornelius, joint pain can result from a variety of conditions or injuries. “It can be the direct consequence of a single traumatic event like a fall. Or it can arise from overuse, repetitive trauma or stress to a particular joint or muscle. Regardless of its origin, joint pain can significantly interfere with normal movements, such as bending, reaching, walking and climbing stairs. If joint pain affects everyday activities and prevents you from doing the things you enjoy, it might be time to see an orthopedic specialist,” he says. 

A retired home health tech, Betty made the decision to have a total left knee replacement in July 2016. She admits she was worried about having surgery, but after meeting with Dr. Cornelius, her concern was quickly replaced with confidence. Three months after her first knee replacement surgery, the 68-year-old mother and grandmother from Lebanon had a total right knee replacement. 

“I can honestly say I experienced very little pain after my surgeries,” Betty says. “For each knee replacement, I spent just two days in the hospital and then I received physical therapy at home. I strongly believe that if you do your exercises and everything the doctor tells you to do, you will have a good recovery.” 

Seeing how well Betty did — and how quickly she “bounced back” after both of her joint replacement procedures — Bobby Kirk, age 69 and a semi-retired central air conditioning and heating mechanic, chose to have double knee replacement surgery in December 2016. Bobby says he used a walker for about a week post-surgery, and he was back at the gym working out within two weeks of his left and right knee replacements. 

“Dr. Cornelius encouraged us to do our exercises and not lay around,” Bobby says. “And I think that was a key to our successful recovery.” 

“Joint replacement is considered an elective surgery, meaning patients determine for themselves if and when to schedule the procedure,” Dr. Cornelius says. “This choice can be both a blessing and a curse. Patients appreciate being in charge, but often agonize for months or even years over whether it’s the right time for surgery. Frequently, they postpone the procedure and suffer tremendously in the interim.” 

“We can’t thank Tennova enough for the great care we received,” Betty says. “The staff was wonderful. We only wish we had done it sooner. We are both enjoying an active, pain-free life now.” 

“I don’t crawl around in attics anymore,” Bobby adds. “But we’re back to boating and playing Bingo at the senior citizens’ center and line dancing. You should see us do the Cupid shuffle now!” 

For more information or to find a doctor, call 1-855-TENNOVA (836-6682) or visit 

About Orthopedics at Tennova Healthcare – Lebanon 

The comprehensive program at Tennova Healthcare – Lebanon features the expertise of a multidisciplinary team including orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, orthopedic nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and a total joint program coordinator. Tennova Healthcare – Lebanon offers a full range of advanced surgical techniques including total joint replacement, partial joint replacement, resurfacing, and robotic-assisted surgery. To learn more, call 615-443-2560 or visit to sign up for a joint pain seminar. 

About Tennova Healthcare 

One of the state’s largest health networks, Tennova Healthcare includes 16 hospitals and more than 115 physician clinics. The combined network has approximately 2,600 licensed beds, 2,800 physicians on the combined active medical staffs, and 9,000 employees, with more than 70,000 admissions and 465,000 emergency department visits each year. Learn more at 

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